QUEENS, N.Y. – Jordan Shankle scored his first career goal for St. John’s University, which registered a 1-0 win over nine-man Seton Hall University in the Big East opener for both teams at Owen T. Carroll Field Saturday afternoon.
The Red Storm extended its winning streak to three games and its unbeaten streak to four.
“It’s good to open Big East play with a win,” St. John’s head coach Dr. Dave Masur said. “We played against a very tough Seton Hall team. They played very well. We didn’t have a particularly great second half but we did a lot and I’m proud of our guys for hanging on and getting a result in a local rivalry against a good Seton Hall team.”
In the 79th minute, two Seton Hall players — defender Nick Najera and midfielder Spence Burkhardt — received red cards after a brief scuffle, giving the Red Storm a two-man advantage for the remainder of the match.
Shankle’s goal a highlight-reel effort that saw the senior find the back of the net from well outside the 18-yard box in the 39th minute.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Andrew Withers recorded his fourth shutout in seven matches, turning aside all four shots on target. Entering the contest ranked in the top 15 nationally in goals-against average and save percentage, the Wellington, New Zealand native improved both those totals, lowering his GAA to 0.42 and increasing his save percentage to .893.
With just over six minutes to play in the first half, Leo Donnellan drew a yellow card on Seton Hall’s Andres Veizaga, giving the Red Storm a free kick in the offensive zone. After the Pirates thwarted the Johnnies’ initial attempt, the two teams battled for the loose ball for nearly a half a minute before it made its way toward Shankle. The senior played it down off his chest before delivering a right-footed strike from some 35 yards that tucked in just underneath the crossbar.
“It was a great goal, it was a long range shot, but we had some other players do really good things on that play,” Masur said. “Leo ran around the ball and followed up on the shot to keep it alive. Alistair Johnston challenged the keeper. Jordan did a great job setting his feet and making sure he could get a firm shot on goal. I was really proud of him and happy that he got the goal. He’s been battling some injuries over the summer and he’s had to gut out some things, so I was really pleased for him and for the team.”
St. John’s hosts Xavier University next Saturday at 7 p.m.